Monday, 31 August 2015

For the Love of Knitting!

I must start with an apology, my leaves are still in progress with many having been knitted, but alas too many ideas spinning around my butterfly brain to put them together in any sort of beautiful way! I am currently toying with an idea which I hope to complete this week and post as soon as possible. 

A very small sample of my leaves, yet to be gathered together
and made into something beautiful

I have I feel had a little bit of a yarn meltdown and when I sat down to reflect about it all this week, I think I have come up with an answer.......I love knitting! Worse still I love knitting things for other people, all they have to do is mention something and off I go casting on and heading off at a tangent with yet another project. 

So this is my week to confess to all the projects I am currently working on!! The reason for this confession is the fact that we had a show and tell at my knitting group last week and when Doreen's lovely husband came in proudly wearing his beautifully knitted jumper made with love by Doreen I suddenly thought....I must focus and finish my projects one at a time! Starting, naturally with the jumper for my husband.

My husbands jumper, just the sleeves and sewing up to go!
So why does the cardigan which I started before this, for myself, sit unfinished in my loft?
Well..... maybe because I won't need this until winter.....honestly!

My beautiful, unfinished cardigan, started months before my hubby's jumper
Why with  these two on my needles did I ever cast this on??
Because.....I just love this jumper.

A fabulous jumper, I have made it once and my daughter now has it
so I had to start again!

Oh and the Mystery KAL on Very busy Monkey?
Well.... because it is good to have a challenge!

A shawl which I did not need to start but just love knitting it!
I must also mention the experimental crochet project which I started for the summer..... but the summer never really happened so I haven't finished it yet!

A summer top in progress
I think with Autumn fast approaching and a week off work ahead I will focus on being a finisher completer and intend on sharing these projects with you as I do.

Life has been busy over the last couple of weeks for both myself and Helen with each of us having loved ones falling ill, this puts unfinished projects into perspective.

Every project we embark on takes time and love so when you receive a knitted or crocheted gift always remember you are loved by the giver and each stitch represents that love!

Finally I must mention a shop which is due to open its doors tomorrow, I don't live near enough to visit but if you do then call into The Old Pharmacy which is in Faversham Kent. Take a look at the website and like them on Facebook. It looks fabulous!!

Until next time....take care, Sarah & Helen xx

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Leaves Galore !!!

As I walked through the local park during the summer holidays, I noticed that leaves are already starting to falling from the trees, yes the nights are drawing in !! so I thought that this would be a great template for many designs, summer or winter.
The ones pictured are my initial ideas for different magazines for a summer table cloth and circular clutch bag but both using the same leaf pattern.

This gave me and Sarah an idea, to use a leaf pattern and go away to design our own items, not knowing what the other one is going to make. 
Another good thing with this idea is that you can use up stash, all your odd bits to make up the leaves.

So here is the basic leaf pattern:
This pattern can be used with any yarn on any needles to use up your stash

The large leaf measures 9cm in length and the small leaf measures 6cm in length knitted on 3.25mm needles using Rowan cotton glace.

small leaf
cast on 3sts
Row 1 (WS) :purl
Row 2: k1, m1, k1, m1, k1. 5sts
Row 3: and all ws rows purl
Row 4: k2, m1, k1, m1, k2. 7sts
cont increasing as set to 11sts
starting with a purl row work in st st for 3 rows
Next row: sl 1, k1, psso, k to last 2 sts, k2tog
Next row: purl
Next row: sl 1, k1, psso, k to last 2 sts, k2tog
cont decreasing as set until 3sts
Next row: purl
Next row: sl 1, k2tog, psso
fasten off

medium leaf

work as for small leaf increasing to 15sts
starting with a purl row work in st st for 5 rows
Next row: sl 1, k1, psso, k to last 2 sts, k2tog.
Next row: purl
Next row: sl 1, k1, psso, k to last 2 sts, k2tog
cont decreasing as set until 3 sts
Next row: purl
Next row: sl 1, k2tog, psso
fasten off

So I chose my colours and got to work on my leaves. I knitted 15 leaves but the one bit I do hate is the sewing in of ends!

 But after I had done the sewing, I got myself an old pillow case, got my machine out and made it into a 40cm by 40cm, very simple cushion cover. I then decided that I would make my daughter a cushion for her bedroom. 
And here is my design........

I added buttons and embroidered stalks. I have finished! What do you think ???

So, Sarah, let's see what you came up with. 
(On our next blog, can't wait !!)

If you do have a go with the leaves, send pictures please, we would love to see what you make!! 
Happy Knitting!
Helen xx

Sunday, 2 August 2015


Sock knitting Divides all knitters into two camps, like marmite you either love it or hate it.

Like socks with sandals hand knitted socks divide us into 2 camps Love or hate!
I love knitting socks whilst Helen on the other hand could think of no bigger waste of time, which ever camp you sit in you have to admit that nothing looks or feels better than a pair of hand knitted socks on your feet. Not only because of the love in every single stitch but also the warmth and comfort of having a pair of socks that fit perfectly.
I knitted my first pair many years ago now, encouraged by my mum who knits socks for fun, ‘it is good to have a pair on your needles’ she says ‘they are so portable’ she adds. They are also fabulous to receive in your Christmas parcel! Especially when your mum has made them!

These were made using my free Regia pattern
Hector Socks designed by Rachel Coopey

The first few pairs which I made were knit using a free pattern which you were given when purchasing Regia self-patterning yarn, you can download a fantastic guide and pattern from the website,   These were top down knitted on 4 needles, I loved the fact that I got a beautiful patterned/ striped socks with little effort. 
I soon got the bug and decided that I needed to do a pair of the lovely socks in the fabulous Rachel Coopey book a knitted sock society  and chose a lovely lace pair to start with called Hector

Rachels fabulous book
I love Rachels patterns and after having worked with her in Harrogate she convinced me that I could make socks on a circular needle using the magic loop method, I was not brave enough to do this when I was doing the Hector socks but plucked up the courage when I progressed to toe up two at a time socks!! These have not been off my needles for long and I cannot say that the words ‘enjoyed knitting’ spring to mind when recalling the making of them, although they are a perfect fit and the instructions in the book are clear and easy to follow, maybe a second pair will convince me! My husband says they are fabulous and fit perfectly.

A great book to explain the method with great patterns

Whichever method you choose I strongly advise having a go on a small pair to start with, for a child maybe, and if you do one sock and think ‘no more!!’ then you will have a Christmas decoration for your tree at least!

They have now climbed Helvellyn!!
Rachel convinced me to knit socks in the round!

Now, I am not a yarn snob but… I would not use cheap yarn to knit socks, your feet are precious and deserve something beautiful!! Regia do a fabulous range of sock yarns and if you want to splash out on a skein of Rowan Fine art which is so beautiful to work with and even more beautiful to wear. I also love Lang Jowell sock yarn which comes with a reinforcing yarn for your toes and heels for those heavy footed ones amongst us! I am not saying buy expensive yarn, I am just saying read the label and look at the wool content!!

I want to show you some pictures of our trip to The Lake District last weekend.
Our accommodation was 5 star! So much so that there was a need for handmade socks to be worn at all times! Even in bed!
Our tent has done us proud over the years!
We climbed Helvellyn, me wearing my top down one at a time socks and my Hubby in his toe-up two at a time socks. 

It was great to get to the end of Striding Edge with warm feet too!
Time for Tea for us two!
Boots and Socks off at last!
The campsite was perfect with a pub serving food at the top of the hill and a bar with a Saturday night quiz next to the site shop! We will definitely stay again.

If you succeed in knitting your first pair of socks then you will not look back and will have socks on your needles at all times!! Won’t they Helen!!